Excellent photos of your product are key to the success of your Etsy shop.
You don’t need professional photographer and models to have great shots of your items. Chances are good that your phone has a built-in camera that takes high-quality pictures.
If not, a simple point-and-shoot camera will do the trick. Just add lots of light and apply the following tips for taking four essential listing photos. You’ll be snapping away like a pro in no time.
1. Macro Shot
What: A close-up photo that highlights your product’s fine detail.
Why: Including a close-up shot or two will help show off the quality and texture of your materials and demonstrate just how lovingly each stitch/cut/nail/sequin/paintstroke went into the construction of your products.
How: As always, make sure your subject is well lit, and then get your camera as close as you can while maintaining focus. If you’re using a point-and-shoot, refer to your manual to turn on the micro setting (often represented on the camera with an image of a flower).
To get super duper close on a mobile phone, try a macro lens, which lets you get your phone within an inch of your subject with tack sharp focus.
It’s also a good idea to include an image of any imperfections or item variations up close to ensure you’re setting clear expectations for shoppers.
2. The Studio Shot
What: Your product, on a plain-Jane background, well lit for all to see.
Why: A studio shot is the clearest way to show potential customers what you’re offering. When shoppers are browsing thumbnails, they’re drawn to clear, bright photos that really show off the product.
An added bonus to this type of shot is that clear photos set a realistic expectation of what a customer will be receiving in the mail, helping you to avoid the hassle of returns and exchanges.
How: You don’t actually need a professional photo studio to pull of this shot. You can create studio quality product photography without spending a dime.
Just use a plain background and plenty of light. You can also create your own light-box if natural light isn’t available.
If your creations are small you can tape a piece of white paper onto a wall and let it curve down onto the table or floor to make a seamless backdrop. If you’re selling clothes or larger wares, try hanging a white sheet on your garage door or an available wall.
Next, lighten up! Bright, indirect light is the best option for capturing clear photos. Set up near a big window in the middle of the day or, if you’re outside, shoot in even shade.
You can use a light-colored piece of paper or a reflector to bounce extra light onto your subject.
3. Lifestyle Pic
What: Your product looking good in its element.
Why: The main reason to include a lifestyle photo is so that when someone sees it, they can imagine just what they’d do if they owned your amazing product. You want them to imagine your item in use to help sway them to make the purchase.
How: If you’re selling brooch bouquets, ask someone dressed in white to pose with your product as ask a picture from your former customer for a bridal picture with your product.
Show them just how cute that salt and pepper shaker set look on a cozy dinner table. Pick the cutest spot in your house (or your adorable friend’s house) and take photos of your creation in use. This allows shoppers to see just how great it looks incorporated into home décor.
4. Snap for Scale
What: A photo of your goodie next to a common object or on a model to show its size.
Why: Shoppers want to know what that brooch is going to look like on a real live lapel, how low that necklace hangs or if that pencil holder is going to hold three or 30 pencils.
How: You don’t have to use a boring ol’ ruler to show scale; just choose any object that would be familiar to most people. Learn the secret to mastering product photography by using models. If you’ve made clothes or jewelry, put them on a human!
Shoppers who feel like they are in between sizes, or aren’t familiar with the exact measurement scale you’re using, will have their questions answered when they see a human sporting your product.
If you’re selling a non-wearable object, your scale photo can be as simple as staging the purse you made with a phone peeking out, or your hand-painted dessert plate with a couple of cookies on it.